LSU hired Jeff Grimes last month to replace Greg Studrawa as its offensive line coach.
Grimes has not spoken to reporters and didn’t return a message left for him this week. He did, however, jump on local radio Thursday afternoon.
Grimes spoke to ESPN 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge. He talked about his playing days, leaving Virginia Tech after one year to return to the SEC and recruiting nationally.
- So why did Grimes leave Virginia Tech after a year to join the LSU staff? The SEC, he said, and wanting to raise his family here. He was Auburn’s O-line coach for four seasons before that staff was fired and Grimes jumped to Tech. He’s from Texas. “I love the SEC,” he said. “I love competing with and against the best coaches and players in the country. I’m a boy form the south, grew up in Texas. Love my time in Alabama. Regionally it fits the kind of place I’d like to be and raise my family.”
- Grimes was asked about LSU’s current offensive line group. He did not address players specifically because he said he’s not watched enough film of last season. He confirmed what a few offensive line recruits have said about Grimes – that he wants starting jobs across the line to be open this year. “I want to give all of the guys the opportunity to win a job and give me a fresh start with the whole group,” he said.
- Grimes said LSU’s offensive line, while successful, needs to improve. “I know there’s been some success but quite honestly not enough both in the run game and in protection,” he said. “There needs to be improvements.”
- One of the reasons Grimes was hired, many say, is because of his ability as a national recruiter having coached at schools from Colorado to Arizona to Texas and the southeast. Grimes said he has not been designated a recruiting “area,” but will be. He said he’ll recruit nationally for offensive linemen. ”The most important job I have is to recruit the best offensive linemen I can,” Grimes said.
- Linemen and their coach have a unique relationship, Grimes said, which makes their recruitment different from any other position. Basically, Grimes will take the lead on recruiting offensive linemen, no matter where they live.
- Grimes spent time in the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC. What’s the difference about the SEC than the others? One, the intensity, specifically recruiting, and, two, the defensive players, especially linemen. “The amount of work and energy people put into signing the best players in the county is just something you can’t really be prepared for until you’re actually in the fight,” he said. “The second thing is the quality of players. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball.”
- Grimes, I believe, said his family is still living in Texas. Which is odd. Grimes hasn’t worked in Texas since the late 90s. Anyway, it does sound like they’ll be making the move to Baton Rouge.
- Grimes was coached in college at Texas El-Paso by Andy Reid, the former Eagles and current Chiefs coach. “Maybe just a couple of pounds lighter,” he said of Reid then. “Tremendous coach. I think we’re all to some extent a product of our environment. He was big influence on me as a player. He was one of those coaches that had that rare ability to get after you and rip you and do it in a way to make you want to do it better. Down deep I knew he really cared about me.”